New clashes in 5th day of protest in Tunisian town

December 1, 2012 - 2:33 PM
Tunisia Protests

Tunisian protesters clash with riot police, in Siliana, Tunisia, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. The army moved into a southwestern Tunisian town, an official and witnesses said Friday, the fourth day of protests that have injured more than 300 people. President Moncef Marzouki said on television that the North African country's government has not "met the expectations of the people" and asked that a new one, smaller and specialized to deal with the unrest, be formed. The current government has about 80 members. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Hundreds of stone-throwing protesters and security forces firing tear gas have clashed again in a restive town southwest of Tunisia's capital despite government efforts to defuse days of violence injuring at least 300 people.

The government headed by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party sought to tamp down five days of protests in Siliana by evoking the prospect Saturday of acceding to protesters' demands that a contested regional governor be fired.

The violence came a day after up to 10,000 people marched peacefully to demand more jobs, government investment and the resignation of the governor — before the demonstration degenerated into clashes with police.

The government called in the military to replace security forces. But witnesses said the security forces refused to cede their positions to soldiers Saturday.